The Libidinous that founded la Senda Verde

Don’t get me wrong, is not a human, it’s an animal, or more precisely a Capuchin monkey. It’s not always about humans, no sir, animals do their thing, they are very intelligent and powerful, mystical I would say.

And that’s because if we look at it from a mystic lens, a very real one, well it was Ciruelo, Senda Verde’s alpha Capuchin male, that effectively begun it all. According to what they tell me, Ciruelo was the first wild animal to arrive to la Senda Verde, a place in the tropical Andes where once upon a time Vicky and Marcelo built a home, a farm and a tourism project.

But Ciruelo was in charge of changing the perspective and the vocation of his new adoptive parents. “La Senda Verde has always been a place where animals come by themselves” tells us Vicky speaking about how before there were rescued animals, wild birds would fly into her land. So the Mysticism resides also in the place; though I would like to give Ciruelo more credit.

Why Libidinous? Well that was this species of amazon monkey’s scientific name, Cebus Libidinosus, before it divided in new species that now have different names. I don’t find that name far from the truth whatsoever, this monkey is very libidinous. Before I saw him in his natural state in the forests of Madidi, I didn’t imagine that monkeys could be libidinous, so libidinous!

One tends to think that in nature everything is natural and a modern society still led by religion makes us think that a strictly-for-pleasure heightened libido is not very natural. You only need to go into nature to learn the contrary. Capuchin monkeys mate not only to procreate, but do it for pleasure and for power.

How lucky am I to be able to tell you a story that I have not read in a biological publication, science book nor watched in any documentary. It’s something I saw with my own eyes in the Madidi rainforest, with the help of native Tacana guides.

Capuchin monkeys tend to accompany, a couple of males, the large troops of “Chichilo” or squirrel monkeys, close relatives to the Capuchins. Way smaller, Chichilos benefit from the sharp sight and better defence capabilities the Capuchins (locally known as whistlers, because they whistle) have.

Company is not free; Capuchins get their payback by raping the small Squirrel monkey females. That’s right, they are not very happy (the squirrels), they are very small in comparison and looks like it hurts them. They scream and all. Whistlers cross frontiers of the libido that not even most human individuals are daring to cross: they mate with other animal species. Ciruelo is reliable proof.

For Ciruelo, Squirrels may not be enough, looks like outside of their natural habitat they can acquire other, different tastes. Ciruelo made sure people knew about the species’ fame from within a context of the farm. He begun mounting any animal he could: goats, dogs, cats, llamas and even other humans. ‘Till this point it wasn’t so sexual, at least not yet; it was about proving that he was the alpha male, which he has been since he arrived and to this day (now with more than 70 faithful Capuchin members of his clan).

But the day did come when an enclosure for Ciruelo would become a priority: he had raped the cat. The libidinous behaviour of Capuchins is not something questionable to people that know them well, like Senda Verde’s owners Vicky and Marcelo; even less if it’s the alpha male.

These stories are proof and proof is that currently at La Senda Verde women volunteers are not allowed into the Capuchin enclosure. Or maybe this is not so related to the sexual behaviour of the Capuchins and is just a security measure; since they are very strong, agile, intelligent and have fierce fangs that can do some serious damage. So it’s best to avoid conflict. Are girls responsible for it?

It’s good to still have questions unanswered, makes me want to go back to La Senda Verde and answer them, observe and discover more about these beautiful beings that have a lot to teach us. The little I know (in relation to all there is to know) about these animals helps me a lot to know about myself and about the natural world… the true world, not the world of cars and pollution. The curious thing is that it wasn’t me that searched for these animals; in the forest we crossed paths; at La Senda Verde, it is them that searched for me to help them fulfil their mission.

The 70 Capuchins and 700 animals that live at La Senda Verde have a mission, I am sure they know about it. Bolivia is a country privileged with mega-diverse forests. But the country is also burdened by a destruction we must halt. It’s a corrupt system that corrodes the metallic structures of the human cancer that engulfs all of life. Bolivia is burdened by having the greatest per capita loss of forest in the world.

The animals are victims of this war, the ones that survive are sent to La Senda Verde, and want to tell the world all about it. They want us to be informed, since they expect us to discover how it is possible, in face of the destruction, to heal this sickness and stop the destruction of life. These animals can guide us; respecting their lives can be a fundamental principle to create a better future and a healthier society. We must find the mechanisms to stop habitat loss and animal trafficking.

We are not speaking of something easy, but I see a way. That way is green and is called La Senda Verde. That place in Yolosa where once arrived a libidinous monkey called Ciruelo and begun it all. I don’t doubt that his libidinous behaviour, his desire to copulate with other females of his species and not of his species, has influenced the arrival of more partners with whom to share his now joyful venture.

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